Side Effects of Steroids

Inhaled steroids soothe the airways and, in the correct dose, should do you no harm, but use them sparingly. Used regularly, inhaled steroids can retard a child’s growth and some studies have shown that in adults even low doses of inhaled steroids reduce bone formation. Taken in larger than normal doses, steroids will turn off the body’s production of its own natural steroids in the adrenal gland.

This increases the body’s vulnerability to infection. In children taking steroids, illnesses such as measles and chickenpox may be more serious. In an emergency the adrenal glands normally release a surge of steroids to cope. This will not happen if you are taking high dose steroids. It is vital to carry a steroid warning card at all times for at least two years after you have stopped taking steroids.

Over activity of the adrenal glands and the taking of high dose steroids over a period produces Cushing syndrome. Typical symptoms are a red face, fat abdomen, buffalo hump on the back of the neck, muscle weakness and high blood pressure. You may also gain weight. Your skin may become thinner and you may develop stretch marks and acne.

Women may become increasingly hairy. All these symptoms disappear when you stop taking the medication. Inhaled steroids may make you hoarse and give you oral thrush. You can combat hoarseness by brushing your teeth after you have used preventer and rinsing your mouth thoroughly. Eating live yoghurt, also called bioactive yoghurt, daily may help to prevent thrush. Drugs may be essential to control your condition as they may even be life savers. But inevitably they have side effects, so it is important to monitor your medication carefully.

Natural Remedies For Crohn’s Disease

My ten-year-old son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about 18 months ago. He is under the care of an excellent consultant, but his condition worsened recently. He is now back on quite a high dose of steroids and also takes anti-inflammatory tablets twice daily. Is it worth getting other opinions? And are there any natural remedies for Crohn’s?


Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system has become confused and attacks its own cells. Changes have taken place – perhaps an infection or other condition – whereby the body interprets its tissues, in this case the lining of the gut (small intestine), as a foreign body. So the gut lining loses its ability to take part in the digestive process and to absorb vital nutrients, including proteins, fats, glucose and amino acids. This results in diarrhoea, the main symptom of Crohn’s.

Not only does the diarrhoea cause great nervousness, but sufferers become malnourished, weak and lethargic, and may suffer sleep disturbance. Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs may help temporarily, but are not a permanent solution, and may themselves cause side effects.

However, I am surprised that a young child should be diagnosed with Crohn’s. This is not at all common and I suggest you seek a second opinion from a health professional specializing in allergies.

Spices and Herbs For Allergies – Promising Natural Approaches

A number of alternative therapies have undergone scientific study, and may appeal even to the most conventional practitioners. We will talk about some herbs for allergies that have shown promise in allergy relief.

Herbs and spices

Here are some more herbal supplements and spices that show promise for relieving the symptoms of allergies and asthma.

Garlic: Garlic has the effect of enhancing the production of anti-inflammatory chemicals in our body, making it a healthy and tasty herb that we can use daily.

Coleus forskholii: Another great natural allergy cure herb; in one report, this Ayurvedic herb was reported to have a powerful bronchodilator effect with the plus side of fewer side effects than conventional drugs.

Ginkgo biloba: A controlled study of this herb demonstrated decreased asthma triggered by dust mites. It may also protect against exercise-induced asthma.

Cinnamon: Most people are familiar with this spice. Small doses of cinnamon can stimulate respiration in people with asthma or allergic rhinitis. Animal studies show it can prevent a variety of allergic reactions, including some types of anaphylaxis.

Licorice root: Not to be confused with “licorice” candy (which contains anise), this herb contains a natural steroid that reduces cough and inflammation. Be careful though, as it can cause hypertension (high blood pressure) if you take licorice root for more than 2 weeks. Like many herbs for allergies, the licorice root has been used for a long time to for allergy relief.

Saiboku-to: Although it is not quite “natural” as it is a pill supplement, I will include it here anyways as it is made from natural ingredients. This Japanese asthma remedy contains 10 herbs. It has been shown to help some people with asthma get off or reduce steroids, but it has lots of side effects, including pneumonia.

Tylophora indica: There are some minor side effects to this Ayurvedic herb, such as mouth soreness and nausea. But this herb is as effective for asthma as epinephrine. This herb is also known as Tylophora asthmatica.

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